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Two individuals arrested for shining green laser at MNPD helicopter

Suspects arrested for shining laser at MNPD helicopter (Photo: Metro Police)
Suspects arrested for shining laser at MNPD helicopter (Photo: Metro Police)
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Two men were arrested for shining lasers at a Metro Police helicopter in two separate incidents.

On Wednesday, a Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) Aviation helicopter was hit by a green laser light while flying over East Nashville, according to an arrest warrant.

The beam hit the aircraft at least three separate times, and two civilian pilots along with a sworn tactical flight officer were on board the aircraft at the time.

The pilots and the officer then used a camera system to identify who was shining the laser at the helicopter. The suspect, Jamale Lopez Strong Jr., was near an apartment on Dellway Villa Drive.

Detectives then entered the apartment complex and found Strong where the pilots described him to be, holding and using a green laser.

Detectives then took Strong into custody and told him he was arrested for pointing the green laser at the MNPD helicopter.

When told what he was doing was illegal and extremely dangerous, Strong responded, "Oh, I didn't know."

In another incident Wednesday, the MNPD Aviation Unit was flying in the Madison area when a green laser shined into the cockpit of the helicopter, temporarily blinding the pilots and tactical flight officer on board.

The officer was able to spot the suspect before they entered a four-door sedan, according to an arrest warrant. The suspect, Hector Otoniel, was then seen entering the rear driver side of the same vehicle.

The vehicle reportedly pulled out of the driveway and parked near a building on Berkley Drive in Nashville where Otoniel exited the vehicle from the back driver side.

Otoniel then ran to the front of the car before turning around and walking to the rear of the vehicle, the arrest warrant states.

Otoniel, along with two other individuals, were then approached by law enforcement. The green laser device was found thrown in a bush in front of where the vehicle was parked.

Otoniel admitted to using the laser once approached by detectives. He also added that he threw the laser because he was scared.

Both Otoniel and Strong are charged with three counts of felony aggravated assault with deadly weapon and intent to kill.

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